tv CNN Newsroom CNN July 23, 2009 1:00pm-3:00pm EDT
points. we're following the numbers throughout the day with susan lisovicz right here in the "cnn newsroom." it is go time, the next hour of "cnn newsroom" starts right now with kyra phillips! >> we're going, all right, thanks, tony. pushing forward this hour on politics, religion and alleged corruption. talk about your unusual suspects, new jersey mayors, rabbis, a state assemblyman, rounded up in a federal probe of money laundering. we're on the case. a cambridge cop that arrested a famous academic said president obama is way off base by weighing in. if you thought the case was closed, think again. and what police say happened to a young girl in this phoenix shed is atrocious. her parents' purr parted reaction, judge for yourself. i'll talk live with phoenix police. hello, everyone, i'm kyra phillips, live in the cnn world headquarters in atlanta. you're live in the "cnn you're live in the "cnn newsroom." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com
well, it's a story that we have been following for you all week. and it's getting new legs. president obama criticizing the actions of the cambridge, massachusetts, police, in a case that's raised issues of race and bias. and here's what he had to say last night about the arrest of his friend, henry louis gates jr. >> i don't know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that, but i think it's fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry. number two, that the cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home. >> and in case you've somehow missed the whole story, gates, a harvard professor and one of the country's top african-american scholars, was arrested last week by a policeman who'd rushed to
his house. the officer is white. all of this started with a 911 call about a possible break-in, and it ended with a disorderly conduct charge. that charge, dropped on tuesday, by the way. professor gates gave his side of the story last night in a cnn exclusive. but we hadn't heard from the arresting officer until now. here's sergeant james crowley talking to boston radio station weei. all right, we apologize for that. we're still getting it together. we will get that to you momentarily. but as you can imagine, there's been a lot of reaction on law enforcement message boards to all of this. we put together a couple of them. brett cop says, what a disgrace. obama admits he didn't have the whole story and openly admits he's biased toward his longtime friend, skip gates. he then infers the arrest was made for burglary, not the true charge of disorderly conduct.
vegas metro thinks the president just blanked off every cop in america who deals with some idiot yelling instead of listening to police. i'd bet his public relations people are spinning an apology that will be forthcoming. and this from canine one king, crap, the whole thing sucks. obama should never have thrown out the whole racism comment. it just stirs the pot and gives ammo to everyone else to yell racism about the police. and leo 1982 says somewhat surprising political move on president obama's part, considering how cautiously he waded through the whole iran situation. sounds like the situation got blown out of proportion, although it appears the officers were in the right. my hope is that this situation ends quickly, but knowing police, media, it's highly unlikely. so many people arrested, it took a bus to hold them. you're seeing the result of a major federal probe centered in northern new jersey now. the target? mayors, state lawmakers, even
rabbis. the allegations? public corruption and international money laundering. mayors, state lawmakers, rabbis, all in custody. the target of a two-pronged, decade-long federal probe. now more than 40 people have been arrested. they are appearing in newark next hour and it took a bus to haul them there. among those in custody, he beckon mayor peter cammarano, accused of taking $35,000 in bribes in an apparent sting operation. also arrested, the mayors of secaucus and ridgefield, deputy mayor of jersey city and two lawmakers. cnn learned that the rabbis allegedly launder tens of millions of dollars through their religious organizations for a fee. and a source said both probe are linked by common players. we heard from the feds just minutes ago. >> they are unprecedented because of the combination of the number and prominence of the
individuals involved, the disbursal of the alleged criminal activity throughout the state and the broad variety of crimes which have been charged. >> well, authorities say the investigation has been going on for ten years, and it isn't over yet. as part of today's actions, about 300 fbi agents fanned out executing search and arrest warrants at more than 50 spots. now, a day after president obama tried to sell the nation on his health care prescription, he's on a sales trip to cleveland. we're going to hear him live in a town-hall appearance next hour. while back in d.c., disgruntled lawmakers in both parties rushed between news conferences and close closed-door negotiations. dana bash joins us on the phone. what do you have? >> hi there, kyra, i came from a press conference from the majority leader, the democratic leader in the senate, who made abundantly clear, said point-blank for the first time that the full senate will not vote on the president's top
priority, health care reform, until it comes back from the august recess. he said that he believes it's better to have a product and one that is based on quality and thoughtfulness rather than trying to, quote, jam something through. so, you know, we have been reporting all day, and frankly for the past couple of days, that this is where it was heading. that the senate would probably leave and come back and have a full vote then, but this is the first definitive word from the guy in charge, the senate majority leader, harry read. what he did say, he hopes in the key committee, the senate finance committee, that we've been standing outside of their offices for days, he hopes that the they can come up with a deal and, in fact, they can pass something in the committee before the senate leaves for august recess, but it's really unclear if that will happen, kyra. we just came from what we were told was a pretty contentious meeting, and this was just democrats. just democrats, were having it out, having a very lively discussion on the best way to -- to approach this whole idea of health care reform. everybody wants it.
but, still, even within the president's own party, there are very different ideas on how to go about this. and at the end of the day, that is what's holding it up in the senate. as it is with the house. >> all right, dana bash, appreciate you calling in. and as we mentioned just before we went to dana, the president's touring the cleveland clinic. it's a place that he considers a model of efficiency and an effective place for care. next hour he'll speak and take questions at a nearby high school. we'll get to that in just a second. cnn's senior white house correspondent, ed henry, is there, and before we talk about what the president has to say, do you want to go ahead and respond to what dana bash just reported, the new developments there? >> reporter: that's right, kyra. some important information that senate leaders suggesting they will not actually be voting on this in august, despite the president's deadline. just got some quick reaction from a senior administration official. they are saying the white house still wants to plow ahead in august anyway. >> okay. >> reporter: saying that this does not change the president's timetable, that they still want to have house and senate votes in august. so, that obviously suggests there could be a collision
course at some point here between the president and his own democratic leadership on capitol hill, because this white house is not giving in on that. they, as you heard the president last night say, he believes that a deadline is the only thing that can push back on what he calls inertia on capitol hill and in washington in general, kyra. >> okay. and now back to where you are, and we will be taking the president live in just about an hour. the purpose for the placement of his -- his talk this afternoon, ed? >> reporter: he's going to be here at shaker heights high school in the cleveland area. the point is last night he obviously spoke to the washington -- the white house press corps and was trying to reach beyond us and get to the american people. here he can more directly do that in the heartland. he hasn't had a town-hall meeting in a few weeks now. he wants to do two basic things, he wants to talk, again, about the cost of inaction. the president saying that something like 14,000 -- 14,000 people a day will continue to lose their health insurance if there is inaction.
but, secondly, he also wants to start talking about, what you heard last night, a little change in language, insurance reform, not just health care reform. the white house has been getting a lot of flak from people who currently have health insurance saying, look, how is this going to work? are you just going to help people, the 46 million, 47 million people who do not have insurance? how about the millions that do have insurance? does this mean we'll have our taxes go up in order to pay for the others? will we not be able to have and keep our own doctor? so, the president will talk again today, as he talked last night, he kept saying insurance reform. and make the case that he believes that whatever we wind up with in the end, that it will actually help people who currently have insurance and stabilize their own health care situation. again, that's the tough sell right now, because of that issue and also the cost issue. president, again, trying to make the case out on the road here, kyra. >> all right, ed henry, appreciate it. once again, we'll take the president live 2:05 eastern time right where our ed henry is.
back to that story now that we brought you at the top of the newscast, a story we've been following for you all week. president obama criticizing the actions of the cambridge, massachusetts, police in a case that raise the issue of race and bias. here's what he had to say last night about the arrest of his friend, henry louis gates jr. >> i don't know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that, but i think it's fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry. number two, that the cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home.
>> gates, a harvard professor and one of the country's top african-american scholars, was arrested last week by a policeman who had rushed to his house. the officer's white, and all this started with a 911 call about a possible break-in, and it ended with a disorderly conduct charge. that charge dropped on tuesday. professor gates gave his side of the story last night in the cnn exclusive, but we hadn't heard from the arresting officer, until now. here's sergeant james crowley talking to boston radio station weei. >> what was your reaction when you heard the leader of the free world last night at the end of his press conference say the cambridge police department acted stupidly in gates' arrest in his home is a reminder that racism still haunts us? what did you think about that, jim? >> well, of course, he's the president of the united states, and i support the president, to a point, i guess. i think it's disappointing that
he waded into what should be a local issue and something that is, really, that plays out here, as he, himself, said at the beginning of that press conference, he didn't know the facts. he certainly didn't based on those comments. it's very disappointing. >> i'd like to talk about what professor gates talks about the beginning of the two of you coming together on the porch in his home in cambridge. he said he turned around to see an officer coming onto the porch. he said, may i help you officer, and then you said will you [ inaudible ] step outside. he refused. he said you asked him a second question which he refused to answer. is that accurate? can you give us thetels about the tone and tenor of the details of that conversation? did you rush up onto the porch and confront him? what was the tone and tenor of your first couple of sentences with professor gates? >> well, you know, i want to be careful not to be too specific and also not to cause any more problems for the city of
cambridge or the cambridge police department. >> i understand. >> however, i will say that, you know, when i first encountered the professor, i really wasn't sure exactly what i was dealing with, if you look at the crime stats for that particular neighborhood or any given neighborhood in the city of cambridge. they have experienced house breaks at that time of day, and the callers or the witnesses' statement to me was plausible. the reason i asked the professor to come outside was not, as some would suggest, because i knew i couldn't arrest him in his house. i didn't know who he was. i was by myself. i was the only police officer standing there. and i got a report that there were people breaking into a house. this gentleman could either have been one of the people that were breaking in, or he could have been the homeowner who was unaware that there were people in his house unauthorized. i just didn't know. >> sergeant crowley, when you said please step outside and he refused, he by his own account said you asked a second question, which he refused to
answer. are you at liberty to tell us what that second question was that he said i'm not answering? >> well, i suppose i am, because it is in the police report that was released. the second question is, is there anybody in the home with you. and, again, my reasoning is not to get into his personal business, but he may not know that there are people that broke into his house. i wanted to know is there anybody else here. are you here by yourself. and, again, outward appearances when i first laid eyes on the professor, to me, in my mind, i'm thinking he doesn't look like somebody that would break into a house. i wasn't certain. but his responses to my routine inquiries about would you step outside and talk to me, for my safety, and my inquiry about is there anybody else in the residence, the way -- not just what he said to me, but the tone in which he said it, just seemed very peculiar. even more so now that i know how educated he is. >> at what point did he say, i'm
the homeowner, i'm harvard professor gates? >> well, i believe it was at some point before he picked up a cordless phone in the house and he was dialing a number, i don't know who he was speaking to on the other end, asking who the chief was, he could have been calling the cambridge police, the harvard police, i'm not really sure who he was speaking to. he said, i live here. and when i asked for i.d. to verify that -- because i'd be irresponsible if i didn't. >> sure. >> i can't take somebody's word for that. he asked for my i.d. which i was reaching for. i always keep it in my right hand pocket. i thought, well, that's not an ordinary request since i'm standing in full uniform standing in front of him, but if that's all the guy needs to comply with my reasonable request, i'll show it to him. but he walked into his kitchen and did supply me with a harvard university i.d. not a driver's license that had his stated address. that would have been helpful. >> and once again, that was cambridge police sergeant james
crowley responding to when he arrested skip gates for disorderly conduct. it's the first time that we have heard from the officer. his side of the story there about what happened during that arrest. we'll stay on top of this story and continue to bring you all the developments. meanwhile, saying good-bye to a tv news legend. family, friends, and former colleagues gathering this hour for walter cronkite's funeral. we'll they you who's there and who's going to speak. i never thought it could happen to me... a heart attack at 53.
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walter cronkite set the standard for everybody in the business. his friends, family, gathering at new york's st. bartholomew's church. live pictures from the church. he died last friday, you may remember, at the age of 92. we're told cronkite's son chip and his longtime cbs colleague, andy rooney are among the guests. he anchored the cbs "evening news" from 1962 to 1981. you see bob schieffer, co-anchor of "cbc evening news." he became the most trusted name
in news. we'll check in on the funeral services to walter cronkite and listen to who is speaking there and bring it to you live. well, there's new fighting in southern afghanistan where u.s. marines are facing off with taliban fighters. cnn's ivan watson is embedded with the marines in the battle-scarred helmand province. ivan joins me live now with an update, ivan? >> reporter: hi, kyra. yeah, we're in a town called kanmisin, it's the southern-most point that the marines have launched into since they launched an offensive in this province that was largely taliban controlled up until about three or four weeks ago. helmand province, considered the opium-producing capital of the world. they pushed toward the pakistani border. it's just about 70 miles away. we're actually staying within the grounds of at least 100-year-old afghan castle with mud-brick walls.
it feels like you're going back in time here, and certainly when it comes to the amenities, you're going back in time. there's no electricity and running water. it's very, very primitive. and the temperatures here are just brutal. 130 fahrenheit during the day, and the marines are operating in armor and with equipment and weapons in this weather. also dangerous. deadly artillery duels going on today, between insurgents and the marines, with the marines, we heard them about midday firing out artillery in response to a series of mortar launches that landed just around this very -- this very compound that i'm in right now. and a few hours ago, the marines here, they fired off mortars in the direction of a suspected insurgent, killing one man, they say, is a suspected insurgent. we're hearing from the nato command in kabul that one serviceman has been killed. the identity of -- the national not identified yet, but in
southern afghanistan. and i do have to say, kyra, this has been the bloodiest month yet in the eight-year war for the troops in afghanistan. record number of deaths for u.s. forces in afghanistan this month and for the nato forces as well. two american troops killed in the south yesterday by a deadly roadside bomb. the biggest threat to these forces in the country right now. and one british soldier killed here in helmand province yesterday as well by another one of those roadside bombs while he was on foot patrol. and on the road that we took in, it's just a dirt road, there are no paved roads in this province, really. some of the marines from this very unit were killed last week, two marines, who were traveling in their armored vehicle by one of these deadly roadside bombs, just bringing home some of the realities that these servicemen and women are living through. kyra? >> our ivan watson keeping us in touch with the ongoing war there in afghanistan.
embedded with the marines in the helmand province. great work, ivan. appreciate it. meanwhile, hollywood megastar, angelina jolie, is in iraq, part of her ongoing role as a goodwill ambassador the united nations. today she visited a refugee cam top draw attention to iraqis still displaced by the religious violence that decimated so many neighborhoods around that country. in an exclusive interview with cnn, jolie said now is not the time for the outside world to turn its back on the people of iraq. >> this region of the world, the stability of this region, is important to all of us. there are still 3 million people displaced, innocent families. we have still many young men and women from our country who are fighting every day. there are many men and women from all countries who have lost their lives, and this is a time to try to make some positive change. and so we have to -- this is --
this is -- in working in cambodia and other areas of the world that i've worked in, that so often you find that these countries, years on have all these little problems because it was this moment that wasn't given enough attention. it was this moment that we didn't have enough support, that they didn't have the right education. so this is the moment. >> jolie says it's critical as the iraqi government succeed and stand on its own. she said the government's success is crucial to security in both the u.s. and the middle east. all right, let's head over to chad myers in the weather center. he has an update on our forecast and a pretty interesting story about the water supply right here in atlanta. chad, we've had a lot of issues with the water. lack of. water prices. water bills. you name it. >> now, there's a water war, between georgia, where it rains and goes into lake lanier, alabama that wants that water for a nuclear power plant, and florida that wants that water so
that they can get oysters out of apalachicola, so, yes, a federal judges had now dealt a big blow to georgia saying you must let that water out. and, atlanta, you cannot draw the water out of lake lanier, because back in 1957 when you built lake lanier, you didn't ask permission, even though only 900,000 people lived in atlanta then and 5.5 million people live there now, you can't take water out of this lake. you have to go someplace else. you have to drill wells. you have to do something else. regional commissioners out of atlanta saying, okay, let us not take water out. you better call in fema, because we're going to need disaster aid. but here it is, the water has to go down to the farley nuclear power plant and it has to get down to the fishermen and oystermen in apalachicola. big story. all the water rains in some spots, it must come down into the lake and it must also come down into some of these other reservoirs because everybody needs some drinking water all the way from georgia, all the
way down to florida's and obviously the oysters need its a well. we'll see rainfall on the basin but not very much. we'll also see, as we move ahead, we'll also see airport delays across parts of the northeast. boston, new york, laguardia and jfk. i don't believe this water story is over. and, in fact, the judge said you must stop taking water out of lake lanier, but i'm going to give you three years to figure it out, so you don't have to stop taking it out just yet. so, all the commissioners and all the congressman must figure it out and ask permission to take water out of the lake. we'll see. >> no kidding. we'll follow it. thanks, chad. a little girl allegedly gang raped by other children. the crime is shocking enough. but her family's purported reaction might be even more disturbing.
a child allegedly gang raped by other children. the allegations are shocking enough. the reported reaction from the community and the victim's family, even more so. it's a story about a brutal collision between crime and culture, as told to us by marissa winggate of phoenix tv station, ktvk. >> reporter: this is the shed where police say the rape happens. the apartment connected to it is abandoned, but others nearby heard noises. >> we heard a lot of kids, like, screaming. >> reporter: investigators tell us the kids took turns as they raped the 8-year-old. >> they restrained her. and she was brutally sexually assaulted for a period of about 10 to 15 minutes. >> reporter: officers say they lured her inside with gum, and then other kids watched until a woman passing by broke it up. >> when we started hearing some screaming from a lady. >> reporter: neighbors say the suspects scattered.
>> i'm from liberia. >> reporter: you're from liberia? yes. >> reporter: they are all part from a liberian community, so we had this man show us where the victim lived. we found her 23-year-old sister, who was babysitting when it happened. she's blaming her younger sibling. the guys are 9, 10, 13, and 14. and one of them, the victim's own cousin. do you want them out of jail? >> yeah. >> reporter: why? you want them out of jail? >> because we are the same people. >> nothing happened to my daughter. nobody not touched my daughter. >> reporter: the child's mother is denying anything even happened and is angry cps has her child. >> when your child do something, you need to talk to your child. you need to talk to your child so your child will listen to you. >> reporter: her father said --
>> i want her back. >> reporter: he then told police that he didn't. >> the parents say they had been shamed or embarrassed by their child. >> reporter: what do you want to say to your sister? >> when she comes, i'm going to tell her were don't ever do that again. because all of us we are the same family, are from the same place. now she's just bringing confusions among us. now, the other people, they don't want to see her. >> reporter: right now, the child is with cps and the family tells us she will remain there for three months and then they will reassess the situation. as for the suspects, they have all been arrested. the 14-year-old, the oldest of the suspects, will be tried as an adult. kyra, back to you. >> while i have you, and what is so hard, we mentioned this, when we introduced your piece, there's a tremendous clash here between crime and culture. you have a horrible crime that was allegedly committed here. and then you have a culture, a liberian culture where it's
shameful to talk about rape, to have somebody in the family that was raped. you even had the sister there, she said in her piece, i would tell her not to do it again. and that's hard for us to understand. because in the u.s., obviously, we have very strong views about rape. so, how do you sort of put together the feelings of this family? do you think they really don't want her back? are they struggling with the culture here? what was your sense? because you spent a lot more time with them than what we saw in the piece. >> reporter: right. well, it's definitely a very different culture. in fact, we learned that rape wasn't even outlawed in liberia until 2006. now, they tell us they do want her back, but they are definitely very ashamed of this. and they are blaming her for going out with the boys and allowing it to happen. and they are defending the suspects. they know the suspects. they are part of a close-knit family, we mentioned even one of this them a family member, a cousin. they are blaming the victim. police say that is oftentimes the case, they often do blame the victim.
but the family says they do want her back, but they're angry. >> it's so hard how you can blame an 8-year-old girl for rape. marissa, we appreciate your reporting, thank you. so many disturbing questions here and obviously a lot of thorny issues, so how will police talk to them. let's find out. we talked to police sergeant andy hill, you saw him in the police. also to explain the liberian culture, we have tony wieder on the phone, he grew up in liberia and emigrated to the nuns 1993. andy, i'll get to you in just a second. we have tony on the phone. tony, it's so hard for us in the united states to try and understand this thinking that an 8-year-old little girl should be blamed for a brutal rape. >> you're right. the proverbs that we use in liberia came to mind which actually said that we are,
therefore i am. so in that the family have been shamed by her, not a crime, but the name of the family have been degraded. and the news will get back to liberia, and they're more concerned about that than the crime. the way you look at rape here, some liberias would not see rape. i think you said until 2006 when the president ellen johns johnson-sirleaf became president, she outlawed rape. rape was used as a weapon and as used as a means of obedience. >> so when you come, they no longer live in liberia. they've been brought to the united states through the refugee program. it's u.s. taxpayers -- taxpayers now that are supporting this family. they need to become accustomed to the laws of the u.s. and understand the thinking here in the u.s. with regard to rape. because a family here, the automatic reaction would be, you
bring that little girl home. you love her. you take care of her. you tell her it's going to be okay. and you add comfort to what she has dealt with. not shame and turning her away. so, tony, how do you approach a family like this and deal with a family like this? what should happen now within this family dynamics since they're living in the u.s. and this little girl has to move forward living here? >> i totally agree with you in terms of loving her or caring for her and just letting her know that she's loved by not just the family, but people around her. the thing is, is the world view change. many, many of us come here, we come with a sort of world view that is quite different from that of the united states in terms of your legal system. i mean, liberia was practically founded by americans, but it doesn't mean that we see the law the same way americans sees it. so, it means more world-view teaching than just letting our rules and regulations, here they
are, follow them. they need to understand american context, american culture, to explain to them, the american legal system do actually work. you're not going to bribe them in order to get away with it. and my concern is with the mother and the 23 years old sister, maybe the way they were treated in liberia, whether they understand their own value at all as a woman, that they were not respected when they were growing up, maybe the same thing happened to them, and it just fill them up. i'm not saying that this is unique to all liberians, but these are the kind of things that are still happening today in liberia, girls are still being raped as young as 4 years old in liberia. >> and you're right, liberian president, ellen johnson-sirleaf, is trying very hard to address the issue of rape victims in liberia, tony, you really put into perspective
for us the culture, the liberian culture, and how it does view rape, that it's shame for women and acceptance for men, which is so hard for us to understand here. which, sergeant hill, brings me to you. it's a delicate dance. you have an 8-year-old girl that you say was brutally raped. you actually say it's the worst crime against a child you've ever seen as a police officer, is that true? >> oh, absolutely. because it happened on several levels. it happened with a young victim, and it happened with young children suspects, and then you have that compounded by the family issues and the cultural issues. so, absolutely, there are so many things for us to deal with, which is why we have a child crime in phoenix, we immediately bring in child protective services. we work with child help, that great national organization, prosecutors, and everybody else that needs to be together immediately to provide that child -- especially the victim -- an environment to help them break that cycle of violence that they're now facing for the rest of their life. >> all right, so, first about the little girl. how is she doing?
and i think a lot of people are really concerned that whether this family loves her or not, they don't want to see her go back into a situation where she's seen as the person who caused this. >> well, absolutely. she's in the care of the arizona child protective services agency, that always deals with these children. she's protected. she is not going to be exposed to anybody at this point. they will determine what's going to happen in the days ahead. they'll look at the past history with that family, if there is one. they'll look at what they need to do in the days ahead. and if we need to speak to her again, then we'll do that through child protective services. fortunately for us, the way we handle these investigations, we're able within about five days, to get the pieces of the puzzle together, and also to provide the initial care and treatment that this child will need for the rest of her life probably. >> no doubt. she's going to be scarred for the rest of her life. and i think how she's treated from this point forward will definitely determine what happens within her future. meanwhile, you're charging the
14-year-old boy as an adult. tell me why you're doing that, and then please tell me what's going to happen to the other boys involved in this alleged gang rape. >> well, right from the beginning, again, whether we do interviews or whatever we do in a case, we bring the maricopa county attorney, the prosecution arm of our system, in with us. and it was their decision, based upon the information presented, to go ahead and remand the 14-year-old as an adult. they will make all the decisions in terms of the prosecution, as our investigators continue to work with them. >> and just while i have you both still, tony and sergeant hill, real quickly, we just received a statement from the deputy ambassador of liberia to the u.s., edwin souleh, having heard the story myself, i'm outraged. in liberia, the family and law enforcement officers would be embracing the victim. to hear that the family is not doing that, should be an isolated case. which brings me back to you, sergeant hill, are you going to bring in any representatives
from the refugee resettlement program or from a liberia-type organization to try and work with this family, if, indeed, this child goes back to this home? which, as you pointed out, protective services will make that decision. >> it's a great question. we have a community response unit in the phoenix police department. they have been with us since the beginning. they made some initial contacts with the refugee community. they acted as a liaison and were present when the child protective services agency took the victim, the 8-year-old girl, into custody. we are already doing that. they'll continue to be part of the process. it's part of the components of the organization to make sure they interact with all members of the community because we have a lot of work to do as far as the cultural differences go, and we'll do the best we can. >> i know of all people will make sure the little girl is okay, along with all the little girls in that complex. appreciate your time and tony
weedor calling in and giving us the cultural perspective behind the story. we'll follow-up and keep you informed as to what happens on this case. but with aleve, i don't have to worry about my knees hurting. only two aleve can stop pain all day. that would take three times as many tylenol arthritis pain. aleve works for me. the pontiac summer closeout is here; hurry to get the pontiac you want before they're gone. the price on the tag is the price you pay. get a 2009 pontiac vibe for $13,708 after all offers. or get 0% apr for 60 months on most 2009 pontiac models! all are backed with the best coverage in america, including a 5 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. get some excitement while you still can, during the pontiac summer closeout. visit pontiacdealer.com
to recent estimates, and the number of people who are overweight, of course, is even higher. could your weight influence your quality of health care? a new study says, it just might. cnn medical correspondent, elizabeth cohen, is here with all the details. so, what did the study find? >> well, what the study looked at, they asked doctors about their sort of feelings and reactions to obese patients, and as kyra just said, there are lots of obese people out there in this country, so it's an important question. what they found is 45% of the doctors surveyed said, i have negative reactions towards the appearance of obese patients. so, they just came out and said that themselves. 66% of the doctors surveyed said, treating obese patients is very frustrating. again, so that is out of the mouths of the doctors. >> all right, so why would doctors even feel that way? >> well, part of it may be just sort of an implicit bias that they have that they might not even know. i mean, some people just aren't so crazy about overweight people.
people have those biases. the frustration part was interesting. people that are obese have incidents of higher problems with obesity and risk factors, doctors say, i've told people to lose weight because their blood pressure is too high and it's frustrating. doctors want the patients to get better. when the patients don't make changes to get better, doctors feel frustrated, even though people try and they can't lose weight. and they can't. >> we've done stories about it. sometimes it's as easy as getting your thyroid checked. >> sure. >> did the study find any other biases? >> this study didn't, but other studies have asked about whether there are differences among minorities. when a black person and a white person walk into the same hospital with the same hospital with the same problems, the doctors are less aggressive in treating the problems. you can read about all the irebl
yous on my "empowered patient" column. cnn.com, is your doctor biased. may be a tough pill to swallow. are americans get sick of the president's pitch? introducing one a day women's 2o. the first complete women's multivitamin in a drink mix. with more calcium and vitamin d... to support bone and breast health... while helping you hydrate. one a day women's 2o. refreshingly healthy.
the president is on the road, on the airways and on line trying to sell us on his health care plan. is there a possible thing as an obama overdoze? >> reporter: tv networks were slow to say yes to another prime time news conference. that is your hint. the president's popularity is not a given along with polls that show the same thing. he is using his still strong popularity to talk to you as long as possible. critics say that is the long thing to do. >> can you say ubiquitous. the burgers, the dogs, the kids, the date nights and the mom
genes. even some of the president's supporters say, enough tv. >> you don't have to be on television every day of every year. you are the president, not a rerun of law and order. >> reporter: president obama has made remarks on health care nearly every day since june 13th. the latest poll of polls shows only 47% approve of the way mr. obama is handling health care. some say that number is relatively low because the president is talking so much, he is alluding the message. others say that number shows the oba oba obamathon is working. >> he is underexposed. >> reporter: there are recent signs tv viewers are losing interest. the president's first prime time appearance drew 49.5 million. his second, 52.4 million.
his third attracted 40.4 million viewers. his fourth, 28.8. >> what he needs in his personality is a little george bush. >> reporter: as in way let tv. they say president obama ought to stop talking and work on coming up with a way to pay for health care reform. >> he needs to stop worrying about being loved and bring out that smuginsufferable swagger that says, suck on it america. >> reporter: they say he will be taking a more hands on approach with members of congress in the days and weeks to come. the president does plan work sessions with congress to push health care reform and today he will hit the road to rally public support for health care. with him, abc's terry more ran. he will tape a day in the life of the president for night line.
>> the president's town hall on health care is set to get underway in a few minutes in shaker town, ohio. we are just getting started here in the "newsroom." stay with us. at nationwide insurance. my name is sandy garza and i am on your side. only nationwide gives you an on your side review. you tell us about your life and your insurance. sometimes you don't have enough coverage. or you may even have too much. we'll let you know. we listen and build you a custom policy of just the coverage you need at the right price for you. (announcer) only a nationwide insurance agent can give you an on your side review. call this number to save up to $523. we take a look at the policy and look to see if there's any gaps in coverage. you know, in addition, we talk about discounts that are available. and we try to save you money. i mean we really do. (anncr:) call this number now or call a local agent. switch today and save up to $523.
this is shake hers shakers height high school. no senate vote on a reform package until after the august recess. the president will keep up the pressure, though, and is going to hold a town hall event right here due to start in just a few moments after the pom map and circumstances. you are going to see it live right here. another live look, this time, from new york. the funeral service for legendary newsman, walter cronkite, is getting ready to get underway inside saint
bartholomew's church in manhattan. he died last friday at the age of 92. his son, chip and his long-time cbs colleague, andy rooney are the schedules speakers. he did cbs news from 1962 to 1981 and has become known as the most trusted man in america. quite a legacy for all of us. now, some dramatic fallout to a cnn special investigation. foreign exchange students shortchanged and worse. drew griffin? >> they have now indicted the woman who placed these kids in sub standard homes. her name is edna brigete. she would not talk to us. we haven't been able to contact her since her indictment. five counts of child neglect and
according to the local prosecutor, this case is not over. the grand jury looking into charges and possible charges against not thoenl woman but all people involved, including possibly the foundation that brought these kids over to america. again, what we are talking about, kyra, is, these kids weren't eating. these kids were in the homes of ex-felons, ex-convicts, not being treated very farrell. they thought they were coming over for this big exchange department. >> cannot let the state department off the hook, the organization within the state department that okays these kind of groups and these kind of women to bring these kids over. lack of oversight. what's happening there? is anybody being held accountable. >> you grilled senator casey from pennsylvania who is leading this charge that more needs to be done. the state department oversees these department. they said they were going to have a 1-800 number and more site visits. we have learned from senator
casey's office that the bureaucrat encharge of this program has decided to retire. there is going to be a big change. >> there were two men overseeing. >> the one in charge is stepping down. we don't know if there has been a decision on the second one. >> we will follow up on that one. i hope whoever does replace them will do a much better job. meanwhile, you kept up with some of the kids to see how they are doing. apparently, this young man from columbia has turned into quite a star in his country. no problem not getting any food there. >> our stories here in cnn and the u.s., they go worldwide to all of the countries we broadcast to. these kids have become soft after by the media carlos villarreal in columbia has become a bit of a celeb in telling his story. the street he moved into, there was a drug bust the very week he
moved in. he was staying with a grandfather who was housing his two ex-cons in this house. >> look at this. his family paid $13,000 for the luxury of living on this run-down street in scranton, pennsylvania. i think we have the audio, the interview that i did with his host. i want you to just imagine sending your kid overseas and this is the host family that he is going to be taken care of by. here he is. >> were you not feeding him? >> you think i would have a kid and not feed him. i have two of my own. he ate. get that camera off me, please. >> carlos villarreal is on the phone telling his mother who his host family is. no disrespect to this guy but he is 70 some years old, he couldn't remember if carlos was in his house for one month or
actually nine months. actually, he was in his house for nine months. he thought he was there just a month. there was a sign on the fridge, don't eat the food. it was really not a good situation. >> good to see something being done about it. >> we will follow up. >> yes, we will follow up. we definitely will. thanks, drew. appreciate it. it took a bus to haul them into court. the feds have arrested 40 people, mayors, state lawmakers and rabbis in a federal probe centered in new jersey. the allegations, public corruption and money laundering. the mayors of ho beau kin and due caucas and they have plenty of company. we heard from the feds last hour. deb fills us in now. >> reporter: those 40 people in that court ready for their initial appearance and a scathing indictment of the state of new jersey politics. the acting u.s. attorney is saying that, quote, politicians
were willingly putting themselves up for sale. another prosecutor saying new jersey has one of the worst, if not the worst, corruption problem in the entire nation. this cut across party lines, democrats, republicans, mayors, deputy mayors, council men, a new jersey state legislate tore. all of them brazenly taking cash-filled envelopes in exchange for political influence. the mayor of hoboken, he is accused of taking money as late as last week, some $10,000 in cash from a cooperating witness, telling him he would take care of him and expedite whatever zoning he had for cooperating witness posing as a real estate developer. the complaints so that for these defendants, corruption was a way of life. it existed in an ethics-free zone. they ex employed giant loop holes in the state's campaign
rules. rcw routinely had his proposed projects moved to the top of some officials pile because he paid off with so many profiting off a corrupt system, is it any wonder that few want to change the system? >> reporter: they had so many people involved in this. the one thing they all had in common in this two-pronged federal investigation, the public corruption you heard about, the money laundering, the one thing they had in common was a cooperating witness for the government, posing as that real estate developer, as i mentioned earlier. he was the one who was helping give the payments out to the politician. he was also involved in the money laundering. the fbi saying that they put out about $3 million that was laundered through different rabbis through their religious institutions going back and forth between israel. all of this happening. a 10-year investigation. those people expected to appear in court within the hour.
kyra? how do you spend stupidly? the white house is doing it best. just in from spokesman, robert gibbs, some clarification on president obama's comment about the arrest of his friend, harvard professor, henry louis jr. what he meant, according to gibbs, cooler heads on all side should have prevailed. there you go. in addition to president obama's comments last night, we heard from professor gates in a cnn exclusive. the arresting officer is giving his side of the story. here is more of his interview with boston radio station weei. >> he was arrested after following me outside of the house continuing the tirade after being warned a few more times than the average person would have gotten. >> how many times?
>> i believe -- well, he was cautioned in the house, meaning, to calm down, lower your voice. once we got outside in front of the general public, the police officers were assembled there, two warnings. the second warning was with me holding a set of handcuffs in my hand. it is something i really didn't want to do but the professor at any point in time could have resolved that issue by quieting down and or going back in his house. >> is it heartening that he hasn't disputed anything essentially in the police report? even the comment that you recorded when he said, your mama is outside and don't you know who i am or don't you know who you are messing with? >> professor gates accused sergeant crowley of racial bias and wanted an apology. the officer, rather, said that that is just not going to happen. on ccn tonight as 8:00 eastern,
part two of our "black in american 2" looking at the most challenging issues facing black americans. now, back to the health care reform debate in washington. a process sort of like pulling off a band-aid really, really slow. the president wants to move fast. republicans and not many democrats want to slow things down more. cnn's dana bash has the latest on capitol hill. >> reporter: this is definitive now. the united states senate will not give the president what was his original deadline. that is to pass a bill, a health care bill by the time it leaves for august recess. we have certainly seen that coming for some time. the man who sets the schedule, senate majority leader, harry reid, said definitively. >> it is better to have a product that is one that is
based on quality, thoughtfulness rather than trying to jam something through. >> now, what senator reid said is that he does still hope that members of the senate finance committee, you see me standing in front of the room where we have been for several days, he hopes that they do, in fact, end up passing some kind of bipartisan health care bill by the time they leave for august recess. we were outside of a meeting just of democrats, just of democrats this morning in this committee. we were told that it was, by one source, that it was contentious, that it was lively, because there are so many different opinions and different points of view. among democrats on how to get this done. even passing something in committee by august recess might be very difficult, kyra. >> you want to update us on the house side as well? >> reporter: a different point of view on the house side. the senate will not have a full senate vote until they come back in the fall. in the house, a big move, a big push among democratic leaders
to, in fact, have that vote before they leave for august recess. there was another pretty contentious meeting we were told about this morning among house democrats. and what they effectively decided, according to the leadership, is that they want to stay. the number three in the house said that he told his colleagues in that meeting it is better to postpone, if not cancel, vacation and august break and stay here until they get it done. he said something very similar to reporters. >> the fact of the matter is, we leave here without doing this, nobody is going to interpret our going home as listening to people. all of you will remember we went on a particular vacation in august without having done it. that's the headline. so we must stay here and get this done. >> a little bit of a different political dynamic. the house, they are up for re-election every one of them every two years. a bit more urgent politically for them to show that they are doing what the president and
many democrats campaigned and in the senate, things always move slowly. not all of the senators are up for re-election. that gives you a sense of the different dynamic. at the end of the day, when it comes to the white house, they did get on the record officially a -- because the senate majority leader said the president's original deadline, it isn't going to happen. every democrat is saying they want to get it to the president's desk by the end of the year, kyra. while we wait for the president to make his pitch and answer questions in ohio, we will bring in elizabeth cohen. what should we be listening tore? >> there are a couple of themes we should be listening for when the president starts to talk. a couple of them. first of all, i think what we're going to hear the president say, probably several different times in several different ways is if you are happy with your health care, you can keep it. it is important to keep in mind 60% of americans have health insurance through their employer. and so presumably, many of these
people or studies have shown many of these people, if not most, are very happy. he will try to hit that point again. here is another one. reform will not add to the deficit. this is something that he has said over and over again but the congressional budget office has said that the way it is designed now, reform is going to add to the deficit. so i would expect him to talk a lot about how it is not going to add to the deficit. presumably, then, the health care that we see down the road isn't what we are looking at right now. the third thing is that i think he is going to emphasize how much savings are going to pay for health care. people are worried that their taxes are going to go up because of health care. he is going to reiterate that there is so much waste in health care right now. if they wring that sponge and get rid of that waste, that that savings will be what pays for most of health care, not taxes. >> you bring about the deficit, because republicans yesterday with whom i interviewed said that was one of the biggest concerns. it is just going to put this
country into more of a deficit. the white house said, it is deficit neutral. i learned a whole new term there. over a number of years, it won't make a difference. >> they will have to convince the congressional budget office of that. in the end, they are the ones that need to be convinced. >> obviously, the president is trying very hard to win over hearts and minds, because he keeps -- all of the sudden, in the morning, we hear, okay, another town hall meeting. then, in a couple days, we hear about another town hall meeting. he is really pushing hard with the these town halls. >> he is competing with a lot of other voices. now, there are advertisements and all sorts of campaigns that are also trying to win over the hearts and minds of americans. those advertisements are pretty much saying if you go with barack obama's plan, we are going to be like canada, like england, we are going to have socialized medicine.
one of the reasons why he is having so many of these meetings, he is trying to combat that message and say, this is not what we are talking about. we are talking about something different. >> he is competing with a lot of voices? >> all those other voices are saying, socialized medicine, canadian health care. it appears he is really feeling the need to say, no, wait a minute, that's not what i am talking about. >> the power of advertising. stay with us, elizabeth, if you don't mind. for shaker heights high school, a visit from the president is the latest distinction. it boasts a 90% college acceptance rate with any where between 8 to 15% of the senior class winning national merit or national recognition. we have seen performances by the kids throughout the morning and afternoon. to get those results, the school spends more than $16,000 per student per year. don't forget, you will see the
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on long island. the prosecutors say look again. a 26-year-old american used to live in this house. according to an indictment just been sealed, he has pleaded guilty of charges of aiding al qaeda and helping to attack a u.s. military base in afghanistan. he is also accused of providing al qaeda with information about the new york transit system and the long island railroad. they report he is cooperating with investigators sharing critical information about al qaeda operations. one of osama bin laden's son is probably dead killed by a missile in pakistan. they believe he was hit earlier this year by a u.s. predator drone. it is hard to be completely sure without a body. they say he was active in al qaeda but not important enough to target personally. one woman is spilling the beans on how she hopes to cash
if we don't act, she'll be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. and he won't get the chemotherapy he needs. if we don't act, health care costs will rise 70%. and he'll have to cut benefits for his employees. but we can act. the president and congress have a plan to lower your costs and stop denials for pre-existing conditions. it's time to act.
live pictures once again shaker heights high school just outside cleveland for the next few minutes will be at the center of the u.s. health care debate. president obama about to make his daily pitch for reform with audience q and a and you will see it all here in "cnn newsroom" as soon as he steps up to the mike. a quick look at the numbers. dow industrials up. good news. susan liz so vich following the markets. there is a saying that goes, do something you love and you will never work a day in your life. in today's money and main street segment, stephanie elam found a woman whose passion for coffee
has given her a new daily grind. >> i had my first shot of expresso when i was 14. >> reporter: she went at seattle to learn at the aprons of the best. >> i said, i'm not leaving this town until i learn how to do that. >> reporter: she returned to boston and last fall launched vote tanlg coffey, a mobile expresso catering company. her corporate headquarters. this is where the magic happens. >> reporter: with the help of a few aides -- >> i wrote my business plan with business plan writing for dummies. >> reporter: she then took her plan to the small business administration and was directed to axiomusa, a company specialized in micro loans. it had just gun a partnership with samuel adams to help small food and beverages get funding
freen and free advice. >> i love her dedication to the quality of her product. i am a big believer that a great product can carry a long way if you have a helping hand. >> reporter: she started voltage with her $2000 and the $4,000 loan she got through the sam adams brewing the american dream program. >> it covered the expresso machines, the grinders, my tables, the membership, cost, licensing and my cost for a few months with the commercial kitchen facility that i use. >> reporter: now, she is focused on a store front. she has to incorporate, find a space and get a loan. >> i need to convince someone to give me $180,000. that's a good chunk of change. i am not letting up, boston. i am going to keep working at it. i am not letting up. i don't care. >> reporter: stephanie elam, cnn, jamaica plain, massachusetts.
>> she is one of the biggest sars in hollywood and the world. today, angelina jolie is in baghdad highlighting the plight of the iraqi people. we will hear from her in an exclusive interview. i think right now it's a phenomenal time for somebody to buy a home. the first step in the process is to educate them. bank of america is highly committed. we do have a vast array of programs that will enable buyers to purchase a home and feel comfortable. for credit qualified buyers, the government will give you a tax credit up to 10% of the purchase price or $8000, and as long as they live in that home for 3 years or longer, they don't have to pay it back. due to the market guideline changes, fha has had a resurgence in the market place. va is also one of the things that's coming into vogue again. there's more veterans out there that qualify for these programs, and they'll come back and they'll utilize these. everything starts with the first time home buyer
and moves up from there. sometimes these are the first people in their family to own a home and it's hugely rewarding. we are doing everything that we can to take the opportunities that are available and help the people. be there for them, and allay some of their fears and concerns. we're in that process every step of the way. that creates a customer for life and that's what we're looking for. that's what we do here at bank of america.
ted myers, what you got shaking in the weather center? >> just a few seconds before president obama starts to speak. i even got the dude that's introducing him right there. as soon as i see that guy, make that switch to president obama, i will give it back to you. showers and thunderstorms up and down the east coast right on down into texas, the story of the day, the rain into boston, new york. not so much that it is raining. the airports have just been terrible today if you are flying out of the northeast, expect delays. you might even want to look for the 3:00 flight. if you get there at 5:00, because that 3:00 may still be sitting there. look at the results now from boston, an hour, laguardia, an hour and ten minutes, at newark, the same, even jfk.
rarely do you get problems at jfk. 55 minutes, philadelphia, lax and teterboro going to be slow all day. wait until 4:00, 5:00, 6:00, these delays are going to get longer. it is going to be a slow day for the northeast. then, if you drove to work, especially in new york city and didn't take the train, it will probably be a farrell slow commute home. the bronx expressway going there. if you want great traffic information, navtech traffic.com. you can figure out what traffic is, where you are and where you are going. >> if you just want great traffic, move to new york. >> we have our share here in atlanta. >> yes, we do, yes, we do. chad, we'll keep monitoring. it looks like here he is. >> i love that, there we go. take us to it. chad myers was there as he was giving us a bit of an update there of what's going on around the country. you are looking at live pictures
now as the president of the united states is getting ready to step up to the podium there at shaker heights high school just outside of cleveland, ohio. basically, this is the ep picenr of the u.s. health care debate. he is about to make his daily pitch for reform. he will open it up for q and a there in a town hall type format. we are going to take it in its entirety. as you know -- we've got some information on who introduced the president. chad pointed him out just prior to. here it is. rick baka introduced the president. you heard from him. he worked the night shift there at a warehouse, local union 507, talking about health care, pensions. perfect way to enter into the
president's speech. >> have a seat. everybody, have a seat. thank you. hello. hello, shaker heights. hello, ohio. it is great to be here. there are a couple of quick announcements i want to make. first of all, please give rick a big round of applause for his introduction. [ applause ] some special guests that we've got. first of all, the governor of the great state of ohio, ted strickland, is in the house. [ applause ] >> there he is right there. u.s. state treasurer, kevin boyce, is here. your secretary of state, jennifer bruner, is here. the mayor of the great city of
cleveland, frank jackson is here. shaker heights mayor, earl liken, is here. the shaker heights school soup end ten dant, mark freeman, is here. not here but a couple of my favorite people, congresswoman marsha fudge and share on brown couldn't be here. they have work to do in washington. it is good to be back in the great state of ohio. now, i know there are those who like to report on the back and forth in washington but my only concern is the people who sent us to washington. the families feeling the pain of this recession. the folks i have met across this country who have lost jobs and
savings and health insurance but haven't lost hope. the citizens who defied the senate and the sceptics who went to the polls to demand real and lasting change, change was the cause of my campaign. it is the cause of my presidency. when my administration came into office, we were facing the worst economy since the great depression. we were losing an average of 700,000 jobs per month. hundreds of thousands of ohioans have felt that pain firsthand. our financial system was on the verge of collapse, meaning families and small businesses couldn't get the credit they need. experts were warning that there was a serious chance that our economy could slip into a depression. because of the action we took in those first weeks, we've been
able to pull our economy back from the brink. now that the most immediate danger is past, there are some who question those steps. so let me report to you exactly what we've done. we passed a two-year recovery act and then an immediate tax cut for 95% of americans with small businesses. 95%. [ applause ] it extended unemployment insurance and health coverage for those who lost their jobs in this recession. [ applause ] . . >> it provided emergency assistance to states like ohio to prevent even deeper playoffs of police officers and firefighters and teachers and other essential personnel. [ applause ] >> at the same time, we took needed steps to keep the banking
system from collapsing. to get credit flowing again and to help responsible homeowners hurt by falling home prices to stay in their homes. in the second phase, we are now investing in projects to repair and upgrade roads and bridges, ports and water systems and in schools and clean energy initiatives throughout ohio and all across the country. these are projects that are creating good jobs and bring lasting improvements to our communities and our country. no doubt that the steps we have taken can help stave off a much deeper disaster and even greater job loss. they have saved and helped create jobs and have gun to put the brakes on this devastating recession. i know that for the millions of americans who are looking for work, for those who are struggling in this economy, full recovery can't come soon enough.
i hear from you at town hall meetings like this. i read your letters. the stories i hear and the first thing i think about in the morning. they are the last thing i think about at night. they are the focus of my attention every waking minute of every day. the simple truth is that it took us years to get into this mess and it will take more than a few months to dig our way out of it. [ applause ] >> but i want to promise you this, ohio, we will get there. we are doing everything in our power to get our people back to work. i love you back. we also have to do more than just rescue this economy from recession.
we need to address the fundamental problems that allowed this crisis to happen in the first place. otherwise, we would be guilt of the same short-term thinking that got us into this mess. that's what washington has done for decades. we put things off. that is what we have to change. now is the time to rebuild this economy, stronger than before. strong enough to compete in the 21st century. strong enough to avoid the waves of boom and bust that have time and time again unleashed a torn of misfortune on middle class families across the country. that's why we are building a new energy economy that will unleash the potential of american's entrepreneurs and create millions of new jobs helping to end our dependence on foreign oil. we are transforming our education system from cradle to college, so that this nation has the best educated workforce on
the planet. we are pursue health insurance reform so that every american has access to quality, affordable health coverage. i want to talk about health care just for a second. i want to be clear. reform isn't just about the nearly 46 million americans without health insurance. i realize that with all the charges and the criticism being thrown out there in washington, many americans may be wondering, well, how does my family or my business stand to benefit from health insurance reform. what's in this for me? folks are asking me. so i want to answer those questions briefly. if you have health insurance, the reform we are proposing will give you more security. i just heard rick's story.
reform will keep the government out of your health care decisions, giving you the option to keep your coverage if you are happy with it. so don't let folks say that somehow we are going to be forcing government-run health care. it is just not true. and it will keep the insurance company's out of your health care decisions too. [ applause ] >> by stopping insurance from cherry picking who they cover and holding insurers to a higher standard for what they cover. [ applause ] >> you won't have to worry about receiving a surprise bill in the mail, because we will limit the amount your insurance company can force you to pay out of your own pocket. you won't have to worry about
pre-existing conditions because never again will anyone in america be denied coverage because of a previous illness or injury. you won't have to worry about losing coverage if you lose or leave your job, because every american who needs insurance will have access to affordable plans through a health insurance exchange, a market place where insurance companies will compete to cover you, not to deny you coverage. fann and if you run a small business and are looking to provide insurance for your employees, you will be able to choose a plan through this exchange as well. i have heard from small business
owners across america trying to do the right thing. year after year, premiums rise higher and choices grow more limited. that is certainly true right here in ohio. now, if you are a taxpayer concerned about deficits, i want you to understand i'm concerned about deficits too. because in the eight years before we came into office, washington enacted two large tax cuts, primarily for the wealthiest americans, added a prescription drug benefit to medicare, funded two wars, all without paying for it. they didn't pay for it. the national debt doubled. we were handed a $1.3 trillion deficit when we walked in the door. one we necessarily had to add to in the short term to deal with this financial crisis. now, i have to say that folks
have a lot of nerve who helped get us into this fiscal hole and then start going around trying to talk about fiscal responsibility. i'm always a little surprised that people don't have a little more shame about having created a mess and then try to point fingers, but that's another topic. because the truth is that i am not president. and i am responsible and
together we have to restore a sense of responsibility in washington. we have to do what businesses and families do. we have to cut out the things we don't need to pay for the things we do. that's why i pledged that i will not sign health insurance reform, as badly as i think it is necessary, i won't sign it if that reform adds one dime to our deficit over the next decade and i mean what i say. now, we have estimated that two-thirds the cost of reform to bring health care security to every american can actually be paid for by reallocating money that's already in the system but is being wasted in federal health care programs. let me repeat what i just said. about two-thirds of health care reform can be paid for, not with new revenue,s not with tax hikes, just with taking money that's not being spent wisely and moving it into things that
will actually make people healthier. that includes, by the way, right now, we spend more than $100 billion in unwarranted subsidies that go to insurance companies as part of medicaid, subsidies that do nothing to improve care for our seniors. we ought to take that money and use it to treat people and cover people, no the to line pockets of insurers. i am pleased that congress has already embraced these proposals. while they are currently working through proposals to finance the remaining costs, i continue to insist that health care reform not be paid for on the backs of middle class families. in addition to making sure that this plan doesn't add to the deficit in the short term, the bill i sign must also slow the growth of health care costs while improving care in the long
run. i just came from the cleveland clinic where i toured the cardiac surgery unit, met some of the doctors, were achieving incredible results for their patients. there is important work being done there as well as at the university hospitals and metro health. and cleveland clinic has one of the best health information technology systems in the country. that means they can track patients and their progress, see what treatments work and what are unnecessary, provide better care for patients. they don't have to duplicate test after test because it is all on line. they can help patients manage chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure and asthma and emphysema by coordinating with doctors and nurses both in the hospital and in the community. here is the remarkable thing. they actually have some of the lowest costs for the best care.
that's the interesting thing about our health care system. often, the better care produces lower, not higher, expenses. because better care leads to fewer errors that cost money and lives. you or your doctor don't have to fill out the same form a dozen times. medical professionals are free to treat people, not just illnesses. patients are provided preventative care earlier, like mammograms and physicals to avert more expensive and invasive treatment later. that's why our proposals include a variety of reforms that would save both money and improve care. one of the nation's largest organizations representing doctors and nurses have embraced our plans. doctors and nurses finally are free to give patients the best care, not just most expensive care.
we also want to create an independent group of doctors and medical experts who are empowered to eliminate waste and in efficiency in medical care. a proposal that could save more money. overall, our proposals will improve the quality of care for our seniors, save them sthothous of dollars on prescription drugs. that is why aarp has enforced our reform efforts as well. so the fact is lowering cost is is essential for families and businesses here in ohio and all across the country. let's take the ohio example. over the past few years, premiums have risen nearly nine times faster than wages. that's something that rick and his wife understand very well. as we meet today, we are seeing double digit rate increases on insurance premiums all over america. there are reports of insurers raising rates by 28% in california. speaking of 23% in connecticut.
proposing as much as a 56% increase in michigan. if we don't act, these preef yum hikes will just be a preview of coming attractions. that's a future that you can't afford. that's a future that america can't afford. we spend one of every six of our dollars on health care in america. that's on track to double in the next three decades. the biggest driving force behind our federal deficit is the skyrocketing cost of medicare and medicaid. small businesses struggle to cover workers while competing with large businesses. large businesses struggle to cover workers while competing in the global economy and we will never know the full cost of the dreams put on hold. the entrepreneurial ideas that are allowed to lang wish because of the fear of being without insurance or having to pay for a policy on your own. ohio, that's why we seek reform. in pursuit of this reform, we
forged a consensus that has never before been reached in the history of this country. senators and representatives in five committees are working on legislation, three have already produced a bill. health care providers have agreed to do their part to reduce the rate of growth. hospitals have agreed to bring down costs. drug companies have agreed to make prescription drugs nora fordable for seniors. the american nurses association, the american medical association representing millions of nurses and doctors, who know our health care system best, they have announced their spoerupport for reform. we have never been closer to achieving quality health care for all americans. at the same time, there are those who would seek to delay and defeat reform. is that the air conditioner?
you can still here me, though. we have one republican strategist that told their party, it is better politics to go for the kill. another republican senator said that defeating health care reform is about breaking me. when it is really the american people who are being broken by rising health care costs and declining coverage. the republican party chair recently went so far as to say health insurance reform was happening too soon. first of all, let me just be clear. if there is not a deadline in washington, nothing happens. nothing ever happens. and, you know, we just heard today that, well, we may not be able to get the bill out of the senate by the end of august or the beginning of august.
that's okay. i just want people to keep on working. just keep working. i want the bill to get out of the committees and then i want that bill to go to the floor and then i want that bill to be reconciled between the house and the senate. then, i want to sign a bill. i want it done by the end of this year. i want it done by the fall. wherever i hear people say it is happening too soon, i think that's a little odd. we've been talking about health care reform since the days of harry truman. how could it be too soon? i don't think it is too soon for the families who have seen the families who have seen their
premiums rise or the businesses who have to shed workers. not too soon for taxpayers asked to close rising deficits that stem from rising health care costs, the costs that threaten to leave our children with a mountain of debt. reform may be coming too soon for some in washington but it is not soon enough for the american people. we can get this done. we don't shirk from a challenge. we can get this done. people keep on saying, well, this is really hard. why are you taking it on? america doesn't shirk from a challenge. we were reminded of that earlier this week when americans and people all over the world marked the 40th anniversary of the moment that the astronauts of apollo 11 walked on the surface of the moon. it was a realization of a goal president kennedy had set nearly a decade earlier. ten years earlier, he said, we're going to the moon. there were times where people
said, oh, this is foolish. this is impossible. president kennedy understood and the american people set about proving what this nation is capable of doing when we set our minds to do it. there are those now who are seeing our failure to address stubborn problems as a sign that our best days are behind us, that somehow we have lost our sense of purpose and toughness and capacity to lead that we can't do big things anymore. well, i believe that this generation, like generations past, stand ready to defy the sceptics an the naysayers that we can summon this american spirit and rescue our economy and rebuild it stronger than before and achieve quality, affordable health care for every single american. that's what we are called upon to do. that's what we will do with your help, ohio. with your help.
thank you. this is the fun part where we get to ask questions. i am going to take off my jacket, guys. so if you want to do the same thing. it is a little hot. all right. now, here is how this is going to work. there are really no rules. we haven't asked. there is no preprogrammed questions. all you have toe do is, first of all, everybody should sit down. the second thing is, i'm just going to call on as many people as we can during the time that we have. i'm just going to make sure it is fair. i am going to call on girl, boy, girl, boy.
so just raise your hand if you've got a question. try to keep the question relatively brief. i will try to keep my answer relatively brief. we'll try to get through as many as we can. introduce yourself if you don't mind. there are people in the audience with mix. so if you can wait for the microphone so you can introduce yourself and then ask the question so that everybody can hear you. okay? this young lady right there in the colorful blouse. right there. that's you. >> hello. >> hello. >> good afternoon, mr. president. thank you for taking my question. my name is norma goodman. my question regarding health care is twofold. it appears that your plan has the health care industry funding
your health care reform. i think you just alluded to that a little. it poses a concern for me. i am the owner of a medicare certified home care agency. by the way, my agency wanted to invite you to come on a home visit with us. but your proposed budget includes drastic cuts to reimbursement. i feel that that -- you are shaking your head no. >> i don't think so. i should point out, if i'm not mistaken, that the home care industry has actually endorsed this reform effort and are moving forward but go ahead and finish your question. >> that is my concern, that your budget proposal has lined up from med packs recommendations,
cuts for the next several years, that will amount to, i don't know, $13 billion or something like that over the next few years. >> let me just respond. the medpac idea is to have health care experts and doctors sit down and figure out, how can we improve medicare and make it more cost efficient. it is not an exercise in cutting reimbursement rates. in some cases, we may need higher. home care ends up being cost efficient rather than institutional care and helps keep people in their homes. in rural communities, there are certain areas where doctors aren't reimbursed at adequate level. so you are seeing too many
doctors leave those communities. so what we do want to make sure of, though, is that we are in our reimbursement systems, we are incentivizing smart things. so, for example, right now, if a hospital is reimbursed for the number of tests that it does, then that may not give them much of an incentive to make their system more efficient so that once you take that first test and you have gone in the hospital, then you end up having that test send around to everybody so you don't have to take five more tests. right now, the way the reimbursement system is set up, you don't have the incentive to have the one test and use information technology to distribute it throughout the system. so those are the kind of changes we want to make. we think that the more that we are